Vaca Diez Steps Down, Bolivia's Congress Meeting
Vaca Diez Steps Down, Congress About to Meet in Bolivia
June 9, 2005
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We haven’t stopped in Bolivia, and it’s now past 9:00 at night. A half hour ago Senator Vaca Diez left the Sucre Battalion military installation, where he had taken refuge since suspending the session of Congress scheduled for today. He came it the center of the Bolivian capital to give a press conference, at which he renounced his right to presidential succession, but also blamed Carlos Mesa and Evo Morales for everything that had happened to him and asked them for certain guarantees in order to begin the session.
Evo responded almost immediately. And he asked that Vaca Diez simply renounce his right is right to succeed Carlos Mesa as president and call the Congress… we’ll keep reporting on this from here as it develops.
Hormando Vaca Diez, making himself out as the ultimate victim of the crisis that has this country in a virtual state fo war, announced that he was willing to finally give up his right to succeed Mesa, who he meanwhile accused of never having been willing to leave.
Also accusing Evo of not having given enough security guarantees to hold legislative sessions for several days, Vaca Diez said that the marchers demonstrating against the government are “Don Evo Morales’ marchers, and don Carlos Mesa’s as well.”
Evo responded categorically and immediately: he asked Vaca Diez to present, now, his formal resignation from becoming leader of Bolivia, and that he convoke the session of Congress.
Mario Cossío, a deputy from the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) and president of the Chamber of Deputies, Bolivia’s lower house of Congress, said the same thing fifteen minutes later. He accused Mesa of de delegitimizing the legislature, saying further that Mesa’s government was incapable of dialog with the various groups and that, in general, he had promoted confrontation.
A new “victim” of current events, Cossío spoke for more than five minutes against the government, summarizing, as did Vaca Diez, the recent history, but a version in which he and Vaca Diez were systematically attacked by Mesa and his administration, “to hide the structural problems that affect this country.” The current government, he said, “was incapable of overcoming the factors” that brought the former government (of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada) to an end.
To end his diatribe, Cossío reaffirmed that “the president of the Chamber of Deputies has no in accepting constitutional succession.” The MNR congressman, from the same party as Sánchez de Lozada and his son-in-law Balcázar, insisted that he had turned down the presidency several days ago, and that he was simply reiterating this.
And he announced that the Congress’ “senators and deputies are not running away, and are present” to resolve this country’s problems: Cossío said that, if the right security conditions exist, the National Congress will meet at 9:30 in the local government building… that is, in just a few minutes.
Don’t miss what happens…
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